Share :
Download PDF :


On 28 April 2021, AVİM organized a webinar (via the Zoom platform) titled “Turkish-Armenian Relations In The American Legal And Political Arenas - Part II” at the which the speakers were Ergün Kırlıkovalı (Member of the Board of Trustees and Former President of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA)) and Günay Evinch (Övünç) (Attorney and Principal of Saltzman & Evinch, PLLC/ Co-Chair, Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC). The webinar was dedicated to the discussion of the present-day reflections of the issues in Turkish-Armenian relations onto the legal and political system of the United States. This webinar constitutes the second part in a series of webinars to be organized in this context.

In his presentation, Mr. Kırlıkovalı, based on known facts, analyzed the myths that are being propagated concerning the Turkish-Armenian controversy that has risen over the 1915 Events. Beginning first with a definition of the word “myth”, Mr. Kırlıkovalı proceeded to discuss some falsehoods that have been debunked but are nevertheless frequently employed in the Turkish-Armenian controversy. These include the Adolf Hitler’s supposed reference to Armenians prior to Germany’s attack against Poland during the Second World War, the “memoirs of Naim Bey” produced by Aram Andonian, the kangaroo courts of 1919-1920 against Ottoman officials carried out under the pressure from Allied powers, and doctored photographs. Mr. Kırlıkovalı argued that such falsehoods, despite being repeatedly debunked, are used to confuse people about what transpired in 1915 and perpetuate a misleading narrative.

Following this, Mr. Evinch delved into the history of US Congressional (both failed and adopted) resolutions that reflected Armenian views concerning the Turkish-Armenian controversy. In this context, he highlighted that the goals of those who have lobbied for these resolutions are: 1) to have the 1915 Events recognized as genocide, 2) receive reparations from Turkey, 3) acquire territory from Turkey. Mr. Evinch also discussed the implications of US President Joe Biden’s 24 April 2021 statement that characterized the 1915 Events as genocide. He argued that Biden’s statements that solely reflects Armenian viewpoints may be considered as defamation against Turkish Americans and that the Turkish American community has been deeply disappointed. Lastly, Mr. Evinch indicated that, despite the ambiguity in Biden’s statement that mentions genocide but does not direct blame, Armenian American groups will nevertheless seek ways to push for legal cases based on the accusation of genocide.

The webinar was concluded with a lively Q&A session.

Please click the following links to watch the video recording of the webinar on YouTube and Dailymotion:

YouTube: https://youtu.be/7g1Df91pXrw

Dailymotion: https://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x73hsw